The Wedding Ringer stars Kevin Hart as Jimmy Callahan, the best man money can buy. When groom-to-be Doug Harris (Josh Gad) finds himself without a best man he calls in Jimmy to provide his unconventional service. With only two weeks to go before his marriage to Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Jimmy and Doug must convince Gretchen and her family that they have known each other for years.
When watching any trailer for The Wedding Ringer it’s hard not to think “wait, that guy with that girl?”
Doug has an apparent lack of social skills needed to have a best man, let alone be engaged to a beautiful woman, and the plot appears to be quite unbelievable. Yet thanks to some excellent writing and the low-key performance from Josh Gad, this is a surprisingly good comedy.
Kevin Hart is as funny as ever, bringing the level of charisma and Napoleon Complex humour he is known for. Rather than this simply being a one hour and 40 minute Kevin Hart stand up film like a few of his previous (Drive Along), Kevin brings a lot more ‘Hart’ to the film than expected. In fact his best moments come from his tear-jerking best man speeches.
This is simply an example of the incredible writing at play here. The dialogue is sharp with rarely a wasted word, moving the story on at a comfortable pace.
As the story progresses the relationship between Gretchen and Doug is expanded upon. This gives an opportunity and believable explanation as to why a guy with very few social skills could become engaged. Some of the funniest moments arise from exploring this relationship whilst continuing the story, a key feature of any good comedy.
Yet despite all this, this film’s success is won or lost on the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Josh Gad. Thankfully the duo works together incredibly well, forming a believable and relatable friendship. Josh Gad succeeds in being a likeable loser, who spends surprisingly little of the film in Kevin Hart’s shadow. Gad has plenty of his own moments in the spotlight that sometimes trumped that of his co-star.
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is as attractive as ever and as functional as her Big Bang Theory counterpart in her big screen debut. Feeling more like a romance between the male leads, the lack of chemistry between Cuoco-Sweeting and Gad is not a drawback and actually begins to make sense as the story progresses.
There is really not a lot wrong with The Wedding Ringer. In fact, the main complaints are with what the film lacks rather than what it does wrong.
Towards the end of the film camaraderie begins to develop between Doug and the groomsmen who are also required for the con. Yet the film is severely lacking in any interaction between the two parties. This is a shame, as many of the groomsmen are excellent characters and it would have been great to have seen more of them.
Despite some excellent writing the dialogue is severely lacking in any good humour, with most of the comedy arising from set-pieces sprinkled throughout. Although these are hilarious, the dialogue in between lacks a lot of the wit that Kevin Hart is known for. It is surprising that a man known for his stand-up has very few memorable one liners.
The Wedding Ringer will not be the funniest comedy of the year (or at least I hope not), but the way it handles two relatable themes – relationships and friendship – with such maturity is a surprise for what appeared to be a throwaway comedy from the trailers. With enough humour sprinkled throughout to keep it fun and entertaining The Wedding Ringer is well worth the watch.
See this and other views on The Wedding Ringer at the Vue site here